Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 111, Bobcats 81

  • Sorry for no game thread post, blog people. I was a tad busy.
  • The Hawks for the most part didn’t try to play down the significance of losing Al Horford to injury (not that they really could). But they regrouped and went out and beat down the Bobcats, who had shown some pluck against superior opponents this season.
  • “We had a few lapses defensively but our energy level was high,” Larry Drew said. “That’s something we look for every game. When we play with that type of energy and get up the floor and fly around, we are a pretty good club. And tonight we were flying around.”
  • The most encouraging thing for the Hawks was that they dominated the boards against a pretty good rebounding team with size. Josh Smith (13 rebounds), Zaza Pachulia (10) and Ivan Johnson (seven in 21 minutes) did their thing but the Hawks got production from unlikely guys: Vladimir Radmanovic had eight rebounds, Joe Johnson had seven, and Jeff Teague had six.
  • Josh said that’s the kind of effort the Hawks need without Horford available to help him hold it down on the back line: “Defense, rebounding, help each other out, gang rebounding. Even the guards have to come in there and help out a little bit. Ivan has done a good job thus far with the toughness. I think everyone else needs to pick it up.”
  • Scoring was a group effort, too. The Hawks recorded 29 assists on 42 field goals as all five starters had at least three assists. “We took care of the basketball, we executed very well and we moved the ball,” Drew said. “I thought we played overall a really solid game.”
  • The Bobcats tried to push Josh around but he was beasting. He had four of Atlanta’s 20 offensive boards. Josh also made four of his nine shots from outside of the paint while going 14 for 22.
  • The Bobcats sent Tyrus Thomas at Joe with predictable results. Only a 2 for 8 night from the 3-point line prevented Joe from really going off. As it was, he got to the line for eight attempts (and made seven).
  • Ivan (12 points on 9 shots, six fouls) isn’t polished but he’s athletic, energetic and physical. That is going to come in handy as the Hawks try to win ugly.
  • Drew hadn’t decided on the starting center an hour before the game. He settled on Zaza but didn’t commit to it long term. I’m thinking that probably means Drew will use the “big” lineup when appropriate.
  • “We will just kind of look at our opponent and look at the matchup and see what works best for us,” Drew said. “I was a little concerned because [Byron] Mullens plays like more of a four. He’s a pick-and-pop guy and forced Zaza on the perimeter a lot more but I thought Zaza adapted really well.”
  • Ivan Johnson played center in spots but Drew said he’s “not necessarily” the backup center. Jason Collins didn’t see the court until garbage time.
  • If the Hawks really are still trying to make the playoffs, I don’t see how they can make do without another veteran center. They have two guards who don’t see regular minutes and are using an undersized rookie at center. There don’t appear to be any good trade possibilities for Atlanta, at least not until Kirk Hinrich is healthy and his expiring contract might somehow fetch an effective big.
  • Rick Sund: “The center position has some decent depth to it with Al and Zaza and Twin and we really wanted to add some toughness, and that’s why Ivan Johnson has been a nice plus for us. We’ll sit down and discuss everyything. No real decision tonight.”
  • Drew said Tracy McGrady is scheduled to see a back specialist tomorrow and could play Saturday against the T-Wolves. Marvin Williams (ankle) is day-to-day. “I don’t know when he will be back to play,” Drew said of Marvin. “He was in here earlier and said he’s feeling good so hopefully he will be back soon.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

379 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:16 pm

Is T-Mac done for the season?

He and Marvin need to grow a pair and get back on the court.

What type of BS injury is T-Mac going to concoct tomorrow? He talks way too much for someone who hasn’t accomplished jack in terms of the team in his career

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:18 pm

“Rick Sund: “The center position has some decent depth to it with Al and Zaza and Twin and we really wanted to add some toughness, and that’s why Ivan Johnson has been a nice plus for us. We’ll sit down and discuss everyything. No real decision tonight.” “‘

I’ve been saying that if any of our centers get hurt, we are screwed.

How does Sund NOT sign a center now? Sign Gadzuric

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:19 pm

The Mavs won a ring without Caron or Haywood.

Lakers have won 2 rings essentially without Bynum.

We need Smoove to keep playing at this level (he’s playing like he wants to be an All Star this year) and for Marvin to wake up out of his coma sometime soon and get his azz back on the court and PRODUCE

Section 303

January 12th, 2012
11:23 pm

If you heard a loud and sudden curse word today around 5:00pm, don’t worry. That was just me finding out Al Horford is out for the season.

Good win tonight. Josh Smith has been great this week. I have never seen him play better.

I still think the team can be good. Seems to be no trade options. And, even if there were, wouldn’t it be better to wait for the deadline to get closer? By then we will know if the Hawks are in the mix for a decent playoff seed. If they are, try to make a move. If not, don’t do anything. Hinrich will be off the books at the end of the season. Plus, they could have a decent pick. Waiting sounds better than just jumping into something right now.

Joel Przbilla (sp?). I always thought the Hawks messed up many years ago keeping Jason Collier (may he rest in piece) and letting Przbilla go. If he is cheap and healthy, might not be a bad pickup.

Oh, and for those at the game, back me up…Ivan got another ovation from the fans. Not only when he left the court, but even when he came on. So, Charles Barkley can resume kissing my ars.

Weak crowd tonight, by the way. Sometimes I wonder if this town deserves a good team. Spend too much time caring about a football team that can’t beat my Spartans.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:23 pm

Marvin is the only player in the NBA who suffers seemingly minor injuries and ends up missing weeks and weeks and months and months of playing time to recover. I doubt he returns for another week minimum.

Dude is built of toothpicks or something.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 12th, 2012
11:24 pm

from last blog.

JaeEvolution I actually did not watch MIL play. And DET lost. But does Monroe have a jumper now or what?

“Leuer captured the starting spot from incumbent forward Ersan Ilyasova, who has struggled to find a consistent shot in the early season. Just a few games into his career, Leuer had already established himself as a solid option for Milwaukee and was often the first player off the bench. After nine games of solid play, Milwaukee decided it simply couldn’t keep him on the pine to start games.

Leuer was drafted primarily on the belief that he could be a “stretch-4″–a big man with shooting touch from distance. And while Leuer has shown off a beautifully smooth jumper in the pick-and-pop game, he’s also busted out as a solid rebounder, including surprisingly aggressive work on the offensive boards. His interior scoring and passing look honed and polished from four years of study in the School of Bo.”

Crazy_88

January 12th, 2012
11:24 pm

Yea but they had gasol and bynum to be truthful. Al we got is Zaza.

Harry Hawk

January 12th, 2012
11:26 pm

Good effort by the Hawks tonight. Josh is the inside offensive game now, so let’s hope he stays inside and takes care of business.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:26 pm

Offer Hinrich and Marvin for Kaman. Hinrich + ZaZa for Kaman.

Keep starting Radmanovich

This team will live or die through Smoove. It’s up to him.

Crazy_88

January 12th, 2012
11:28 pm

Josh has another career game. He is certainly playing at t new level All that offseason work has paid of and this young man is just beginning to enter his prime. He hasnt peaked yet.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 12th, 2012
11:28 pm

Oh, and for those at the game, back me up…Ivan got another ovation from the fans. Not only when he left the court, but even when he came on. So, Charles Barkley can resume kissing my ars.
—-

Josh talking about toughness too. Him being 6′8. toughness and beating us on the glass is surely in every opponents scouting report.

Don’t see how Radmanovic got 8 boards. Soft as heck. I’ll try to find a way to download the game!

Crazy_88

January 12th, 2012
11:29 pm

Josh is inside and out side. He is the point foward not the low post 5 player. Get a center to play that rolled and let him split time with Z.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 12th, 2012
11:31 pm

“We’ll sit down the next three of four days and talk it over to see if there’s anything we want to do,” Sund said. “Do we want to go with the status quo, or how do we want to do it.”

…something’s cooking and its probably terrible value return if it ain’t tweener Al. . Hawks Status quo? lol.

JSS

January 12th, 2012
11:32 pm

Oh-no, everybody run here comes Josh-zilla!!!

Section 303

January 12th, 2012
11:33 pm

JeJe, Marvin is made of glass. He just is. He’ll come back, he’ll get hurt again. Just the way of things.

And, I’m telling you, you don’t want Kamen. He is not that good. I would rather find someone off the scrap heep.

JaeEvolution

January 12th, 2012
11:40 pm

Rasheed Wallace is thinking about coming back to the NBA, get him, better than any other big out there…

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wojnarowski_rasheed_wallace_nba_return_011212

growyourownpair

January 12th, 2012
11:41 pm

Not sure I understand Grandmaster JeJe’s 1st comments where he slams T-Mac. Totally out of line. Dude has been a great addition for us in terms of vet influence and scoring off the bench. Drew knows he can’t go every night and so should anyone who is a fan of the game. I don’t care what he did when he was younger. But I am glad Sund signed him and at the league minimum no less. Maybe Grandmaster JeJe should grow a pair, man up and say this crap to T-Mac’s face. Or shut up and go root for another team.

kwooden

January 12th, 2012
11:42 pm

Great game by Josh, but I have give some props to Jeff for coming back with a strong performance, after a terrible game and to Willie Green. Green has been a very good addition to this team offensively. He’s shooting the ball great and active on defensive.

JeJe, Marvin is a little fragile, but nothing compared to Maggette. That guy can’t play more than 5 games without something coming apart.

falcans

January 12th, 2012
11:46 pm

Josh isnt playing any different!!! He just finally has a real “green liggt” on offense!!! He always had heart and filled the stat sheet. Ive read this blog for two years and yalll have been callin for smooves head!!! Dont jump on band wagon now. Josh has always been the heart and soul of this franchise. Consistent effort on rebounds and defense since forever. Now he forced LD to respect him offensivly. JOSH SMITH FOR PRESIDENT

Adam

January 12th, 2012
11:46 pm

Tonight was the start of Joe Johnson’s MVP run.

JSS

January 12th, 2012
11:49 pm

The best thing about watch NBA.com highlights is seeing Josh sitting at the 3 line, lining up the shot wide open and hearing all of y’all screaming “No!”

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:49 pm

I don’t understand how T-Mac is so hurt. That was my point.

He has barely played this year. He played big minutes @Miami (he was our MVP that game). He can still play this game at a very high level.

How does he just wake up with his back spasms and miss all these games? Maybe he doesn’t need to grow a pair but it seems since he said “I worked too hard to be benched” he hasn’t hit the court.

Don’t talk to the Grandmaster (GM) like that.

Knowledge Reigns Supremely

Section 303

January 12th, 2012
11:49 pm

Smith.Leur.Bogut, the school of Bo? The School of Bo let’s out for the summer after the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.

I can’t stand Wisconsin anything, but I will give you Leur. He is a good player. Clearly the reason Jordan Taylor made any noise last season.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:51 pm

Section 303,

I think it’s worth going after Kaman because [I believe] he expires after this year. He was an All Star 2 years ago and can’t be worse than ZaZa.

Teague is playing well as PG and Joe is solid, with Willie and Pargo doing well. Do we really need Hinrich?

I’m sure most of the blog people here during these games don’t even think about Kirk. If we can do a Kirk + Duck for Kaman (they already have Okafor), you might as well try it. I need to look at NOH’s depth chart.

SteveW

January 12th, 2012
11:52 pm

Al’s brother Jon went down with a broken foot for Michigan – probably done for the season -

Slimjr

January 12th, 2012
11:53 pm

Very smooth running offense tonight..Amazing to watch!

Grandmaster JeJe

January 12th, 2012
11:53 pm

growyourownpair,

T-Mac said he feels the best he’s felt in years. Does that sound like someone who wants to take games off and play 10 mpg in others? No. I’d be playing him 20mpg and give him an occasional night off (NJN, CHA). Once February hits, if he is still experiencing these back problems, IDK what to say.

Cheers.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 13th, 2012
12:05 am

Very smooth running offense tonight..Amazing to watch!
——–
Slimjr, the quarter I watched did seem a tad less … robotic.

With our height advantage we just could play normal basketball. Perimeters Just shoot for 3s or create shots at the rim and players crash boards for more opportune shots at the rim and more 3s.

Section303 that was a quote. I did not even watch Leuer play in college.

All I saw was his highlights that he could shoot a 3 point jumpshot. and then I saw his highlights vs David Lee. And that he was on Team USA

Checked his measurements, measured them up with some other forwards (black and white) that succeeded in the NBA and said he could be an elite role player.

A guy who can shoot 3s and rebound and defend 7 footers? I don’t care. With Josh Smith on your team you should’ve been looking for 3 point shooting PFs for the longest. Those don’t come along too often.
Time being though, guess we’re stick with Vlad and Horford though and be a .500 team.

SteveW

January 13th, 2012
12:10 am

Robin Lopez and Jason Thompson are 2 young C’s that are seeing declining use by their teams. Offer all 4 second round picks we have the next 2 years for either one of them. As long as you keep the 1st picks, which we need, it’s ok.

Omar Samhan was on Houston’s roster – maybe released?

And of course Thabeet is still available for 5 mill + per season. Yuck!

Admiral Ackbar

January 13th, 2012
12:10 am

ITS A TRAP!!!!

SteveW

January 13th, 2012
12:12 am

Couple or 3 DLeague Bigs puttin’ up some pretty good numbers. Put them on the last thread.

SteveW

January 13th, 2012
12:13 am

Ike Diogu was released by the Spurs also. May be worth a look.

Rufus1

January 13th, 2012
12:19 am

Realistic options…

Jason Thompson or JJ Hickson for a 2013 1st rd pick.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 13th, 2012
12:23 am

Thabeet is expiring. Though he would still put us in the luxury unless traded for. Dont see him being waived.

At this juncture it would be too easy for a guy who refs can’t control the game and kill us with fouls.

Don’t like the fact that Diogu is still young and likely just looking for a meal ticket. Need to aim for that title with every move we make.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 13th, 2012
12:24 am

SteveW Jason Thompson is no more a center than Al. We don’t need more inside the arc offense.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 13th, 2012
12:27 am

more inside the arc (iso) offense of Thompson’s caliber.

True shooter forward with size and rebounding
True center

all via trade.

But LD PLEASE BRING MARV off the Bench. No more bullsh**. $8 million backup. 12mpg. Let him aim for 6th man.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 13th, 2012
12:29 am

This win was a little bit of fool’s gold. Josh made a ton of jumpers, including a few that stopped Bobcats runs or salvaged broken offensive possessions. Charlotte is a horrible team and took plenty of terrible shots and committed several bad turnovers. There were still defensive breakdowns on a lot of plays that Charlotte didn’t take advantage of but better teams — maybe even a mediocre team like Minnesota — can exploit.

But with all that said it’s good to see them step up and overcome the absence of Al for one game.

Crazy_88

January 13th, 2012
12:29 am

T Mac will be fine….the Hawks just want to be cautious which is why they are sending him to a back specialist tommorrow.

Crazy_88

January 13th, 2012
12:32 am

Charles said it best tonight on TNT…the championship is going to be decided by who is most healthy come the post season. Another player to get bit by the injury bug is Carmello Anthony who left the game with a ankle sprain.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 13th, 2012
12:33 am

“you don’t want Kamen. He is not that good. I would rather find someone off the scrap heep.”

You are right that he is not that good, but he is a LOT better than anyone on the scrap heap. And his $14 million expiring contract will leave the Hawks with a lot of room under the luxury tax line next year to add other pieces and maybe even keep him as a backup at a lower price.

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 13th, 2012
12:35 am

This win was a little bit of fool’s gold. Josh made a ton of jumpers, including a few that stopped Bobcats runs or salvaged broken offensive possessions. Charlotte is a horrible team and took plenty of terrible shots and committed several bad turnovers. There were still defensive breakdowns on a lot of plays that Charlotte didn’t take advantage of but better teams — maybe even a mediocre team like Minnesota — can exploit.

But with all that said it’s good to see them step up and overcome the absence of Al for one game.
———–
That’s what I gleaned from the 1st qtr of play.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 13th, 2012
12:37 am

From the AP recap:

Before the Atlanta Hawks took the court, Joe Johnson whispered a message to teammates Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.

“We have to take ownership,” Johnson said, “at both ends of the court.”

Clearly, they were listening.

Joe Johnson being a leader.

Ra'mon

January 13th, 2012
12:38 am

Najeh, you say tonight’s victory is fool’s gold because of the level of the Bobcats. But the bottom half of the NBA is just as bad as Charlotte is. So if the Hawks win the games they’re supposed to win, and half of the toss up or underdog games, then they still should be in good playoff seeding when Al comes back.

Ra'mon

January 13th, 2012
12:43 am

From the AP recap:

Before the Atlanta Hawks took the court, Joe Johnson whispered a message to teammates Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.

“We have to take ownership,” Johnson said, “at both ends of the court.”

Clearly, they were listening.

Does this point out that Joe and Josh do have chemistry issues with Al at times? Is this not almost like Joe saying, we finally get a chance to show what we can do without Al?

The Truth

January 13th, 2012
12:44 am

“Lang Greene: Larry Drew said #Hawks may explore trades to help compensate for loss of Al Horford, but said he hasn’t spoke with EVP / GM Rick Sund yet.”

The last time Sund was pressed to make a trade we ended with Hinrich who subsequently missed the playoff to injury. We loss two picks, added dollars to the payroll and now Hinrich is still injured. The silver lining in this trade is the discovery of Jeff Teague, the player we already had. Sund keeps looking like a genius when really it’s dumb luck.

Assuming we kept the 1st round pick, we might have acquired a better rookie center than 2nd round Benson. If that had happened, the Hawks might not be in this current situation. We will never know, but one thing is clear. Celebrating any notion of the Hawks engaging in trade talks is premature. With Sund, we could end up with more short-end sticks and dumb luck may not save him.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 13th, 2012
12:45 am

“the bottom half of the NBA is just as bad as Charlotte is. ”

I don’t know if that’s true. I’ll give you the Nets, Wizards, and maybe Detroit, but to me everyone else is clearly ahead of those three or four teams.

We’ll know more about the Hawks when they play Minnesota. That’s not a good team by the record, but they have better players than Charlotte and have played some quality opponents tough this year. If the Hawks can beat that team without Al — especially considering that the Wolves have the league’s best rebounder — then I may start to believe that this team can tread water without him.

SugarRay

January 13th, 2012
12:46 am

T-Mac has had back problems for more than 10 years, it’s probably never been perfect since his early Orlando days, so it’s not surprising if back pain reoccurs. People who have a long history of back injuries never really fully recover from them. It’s not like back injuries are like sprained ankles.

I’m sure he knows when he can play through it and when he can’t(without being a liability), since it’s been a constant thing during his career.

Ra'mon

January 13th, 2012
12:56 am

Najeh:

Toronto, New Jersey, Phoenix, Sacramento, Golden State, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Washington, Utah, Charlotte, Milwaukee,

And that’s without even including Minnesota. So that’s 12-13 teams there, that there’s no excuse to lose to, even with out Al.

filipino flash

January 13th, 2012
1:12 am

Exactly what you look for, Joe whispering….

Smith.Leuer.Bogut (two 7 footers for 1 tweener)

January 13th, 2012
1:29 am

Does this point out that Joe and Josh do have chemistry issues with Al at times? Is this not almost like Joe saying, we finally get a chance to show what we can do without Al?
Smith said he’ll miss working with Horford on the inside.

“That’s a big void,” Smith said. “Me and him are like the bash brothers down there in the paint. It definitely, definitely, definitely was very disappointing.”

But no one is giving up on making the playoffs. When Smith was asked if the Hawks were capable of making another trip to the postseason without their All-Star center, he quickly replied:

“Yeah. Most definitely.”